Processing of COVID-19 early release superannuation applications has resumed after the process was halted last week as a result of online fraudulent activity.
Assistant Treasurer Michael Sukkar said: “As the ATO advised superannuation funds last week, it paused the processing of applications for one day to further enhance its systems in response to new techniques criminals are using to try to steal Australians’ identities.
“The ATO has identified a small number of third parties who could be susceptible to criminal activity. The ATO is working with these third parties to help them make security enhancements.”
Sukkar noted additional risk filters would be applied by the ATO on all files before being delivered to funds and additional information would be provided to funds to assist in fulfilling their obligations to apply fraud prevention processes.
“The ATO is also using this as an opportunity to remind Australians to be vigilant with how they store and share their personal information,” he added.
“Australians should never share their myGov log-in with anyone, including their tax agent, and be wary of emails or text messages that request personal information. The ATO will never send taxpayers a direct link to log on to their online services.”
He pointed out the ATO had extensive measures in place to protect the integrity of the tax and superannuation systems from fraud.
“It was these measures which have helped the ATO detect a small amount of fraudulent activity, which is under active investigation by the Australian Federal Police,” he said.
“Each and every day, programs, administered by all levels of government, are under constant malicious attack. Importantly, at no time have the ATO’s online systems been compromised or hacked.
“Australians can have confidence in the security measures the ATO has in place to protect the integrity of the early release of superannuation scheme.”
Last week, the federal government welcomed the first release of data by the Australian Prudential Regulation Authority relating to benefits paid to members under the COVID-19 early release of superannuation scheme